September 30, 2019
Media Contact: Kathy Hatter — 540-718‐1851
(Culpeper, Va.)— The Rappahannock‐Rapidan Health District will conduct public health emergency exercises offering free flu shots in three locations this October. Clinics will be held starting at 4 p.m. at Prospect Heights Middle School in Orange on October 10, Liberty High School in Bealeton on October 17, and Rappahannock High School in Washington, Va on October 24.
Only 150 doses of vaccine will be available at each location, and will be offered free to anyone 3 years and older on a first‐come, first‐served basis, until 7 p.m. or until the supply of flu vaccine runs out.
The purpose of these exercises is to simulate a mass vaccination event in which the health department and local agencies would work together so community members could be vaccinated efficiently during a time of emergency. An example would be a worldwide outbreak of influenza—also known as an influenza pandemic. Rappahannock‐Rapidan Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will assist health department staff with this exercise. The vaccine is provided by the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Preparedness.
“Getting your flu vaccine is the best way to protect you, your family, friends, and co‐workers from getting the flu,” said RRHD Director Wade Kartchner, M.D., M.P.H. “Practice good hygiene by frequently washing your hands or using alcohol‐based sanitizers when water is unavailable. Always cover your cough and sneezes, stay at home when you are sick, and limit your contact with others who are sick.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that influenza has resulted in as many as 49 million illnesses, up to 960,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 79,000 deaths annually in the U.S. since 2010.
For more information about the flu, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza‐flu‐in‐virginia/ or www.flu.gov. For more information about the Rappahannock‐Rapidan Health District visit www.rrhd.org.